(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Three years ago, when I started working in Belgium, the Belgians told me that it wasn’t safe to walk around in Liege with a kippa and that I shouldn’t speak Hebrew in public.
I was there when the three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped from Gush Etzion and murdered.
No one offered condolences. No one spoke about the tragedy. I was there when a gunman took a machine gun and shot and killed people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. No one offered condolences.
I was there when Islamic madmen attacked the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, and then the kosher convenience store, in Paris. No one offered condolences or even spoke about the attack – except for saying: “I am Charlie.” I was there when a shopkeeper near my hotel put up a sign saying “Dogs allowed. But no Jews.”
And no one said anything to me other than something to the effect of “that guy’s a nut job.”
I’m not in Brussels now.
Not even in Belgium. But my heart breaks for the senseless tragedy of today. My heart breaks for the loss of life, the broken families, the injuries, the pain and the suffering. My heart breaks as the leadership of Europe and the world do not see the forest for the trees.
I’m certain that it will happen again. If not in Brussels or in Paris, then in Berlin or Copenhagen or Amsterdam. Europe has not learned from the past. The world has not learned that the fundamentalists and radicals coupled with political and military backing will always use terror and assault on the innocent in order to push their twisted ideology on the rest of us, to force us to deal and cede in order to protect our weakest – the children, the civilians.
Three years ago I was angry. Angry that I could not be the public Jew and proud Israeli that I am.
Now? Now I’m saddened, disheartened and scared for the future.
The solution to the Islamic terror attacks in Europe is really quite simple.
For decades, the Europeans have been telling Israel that if it wanted Muslim terror to stop, it would have to give the Muslims half of the country, including half of the capital, Jerusalem. Peace and harmony would then descend on the region.
Now, in the light of the terrible recent events, we expect the Europeans to put into practice what they preach. They should give the Islamists half of Belgium, including half of Brussels, and half of France, including half of Paris. This will, according to European logic, bring peace and prosperity to the region, benefiting both Europeans and Muslims.
I wonder in which territories Belgium is building illegally that it was attacked by terrorists.
Jerusalem Sheep story
The expected arrival in Israel later this year of a herd of 130 sheep believed to be descended from the spotted and speckled sheep belonging to the biblical patriarch Jacob (“Israeli couple bringing home biblical sheep from Canada,” March 4) should prove a valuable and welcome boost to Israel’s currently meager Jacob Sheep population.
The picture is not complete without mention of the original discovery of these sheep in Israel two decades ago. The full story was written up by Judith Fein (www.globaladventure.
us/a-tale-of-sheep-or-mutton- she-wrote). Her article was also published in the July 2001 issue of Hadassah Magazine.”
Regarding “Whose wall is it?” (Middle Israel, March 18), columnist Amotz Asa-El wishes to clarify that the women from Women of the Wall who oppose the Mandelblit compromise and are leaving the group over this issue make up only a minority of the organization, which backs the compromise and helped create it.